Negotiating a new working pattern

Negotiating a new working pattern

 7 Jan 2021

We all reach milestones in our lives that require some form of adjustment or change. What has worked for you professionally up until now may no longer be fit for purpose.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to leave your current employer; often alternative arrangements can be made, if both parties are committed to making it work.


Determine what you need

In advance of any conversation with your employer, sit down and really think about what you need, in detail.

Then think about what you want.

These may or may not be quite the same thing. The bit in between will be the points you can feasibly flex on and what you can’t.


Prepare for compromise

Start your negotiation from your most optimum position.

Of course, your ideal compromise is no compromise. However, if you like your job and your employer, an element of concession may well be worth it to eliminate the hassle, uncertainty and upheaval of finding another role that ticks all your boxes. 


Be realistic

Once you have worked out your parameters, you know what you are aiming for. However, have you considered how realistic your expectations are for your employer to accommodate? Try to look at the situation from both sides and offer solutions where you can. For example, is there any way you can help with the facilitation of alternative arrangements? Where might you be able to flex or smooth any transition?

It’s important not to just deliver an ultimatum. Understand that your employer will most likely need time to sort things out. Try to be patient and open to any new suggestions that you might not have previously thought of. Make sure you’re having a two way conversation and both showing commitment to finding a solution.


If you can’t ultimately agree new terms, be prepared to walk away, but do find the right role first, be gracious when resigning and give as much notice as you can.

You would be wise not to burn your bridges in your career. You never know when you might come across people again further down the line and how their sphere of influence may impact you. If you always act professionally, you can’t go wrong.


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